facebook twitter linkedin google gplus pinterest mail share search arrow-right arrow-left arrow print vcard

Penelope (Penny) Phillips strongly believes in providing her clients with strategies and solutions (not just answers) based on quality human resources and legal practices. Penny focuses exclusively on counseling and representing employers in all areas of employment law, including FMLA, wage and hour, employment discrimination claims (including gender, age, religion, disability, national origin, and race), defamation, whistleblower, breach of contract and wrongful discharge. She also investigates complaints  and conducts climate (or cultural) assessments for organizations. Penny has worked with and practiced before the state and federal courts, various state, and federal agencies, including the Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and state and local fair employment practices agencies.

Penny is also a frequent teacher and trainer on employment issues. She provides ongoing training to employers, managers, human resource personnel and other lawyers on matters such as the FMLA, ADA, wage and hour laws, hiring and firing, sexual and unlawful harassment, discrimination, conducting investigations, alcohol and drug testing, and reductions-in-force. She has spoken to companies and organizations throughout Minnesota, the Midwest, and the United States.

Penny and her colleague Grant Collins, along with Howard Bolter, have become the editors of Employment Law and Practice, Minnesota Practice Series, Employment Law and Practice, Thompson Reuters, (4th ed. 2020).

Practice Areas

  • Employment Law
    • Counseling and Representation of Employers
    • Employment-Related Administrative Law
    • FMLA Matters
    • Wage and Hour Advice and Assessments
    • Whistleblower
    • Breach of Contract
    • Wrongful Discharge
    • Employee Misconduct Complaints

Related Experience

  • Labor & Employment Counsel, SuperValu Inc., 2006-2008
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Rosalie E. Wahl, Associate Justice, Minnesota Supreme Court, 1989-1990
  • Staff Writer, William Mitchell Law Review, 1987-1988, Editor, 1988-1989

Professional Certifications, Awards and Designations

  • Inducted as a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, 2016
  • Appointed consistently as a Leader in her Field by the Chambers USA Guide
  • Rated “AV Preeminent” (highest rating) by Martindale Hubbell Legal Directory
  • Certified Specialist, Minnesota State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law, 2010
  • Best Lawyers in America© 2022

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin State Bar, 2013
  • North Dakota State Bar, 2004
  • United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, 1999
  • United States District Court, District of North Dakota, 1997
  • United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, 1991
  • United States District Court, District of Minnesota, 1990
  • Minnesota State Bar, 1989

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Legal Services Advisory Council
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Wolters Kluwer Law and Business Labor and Employment Law Advisory Board
  • Labor & Employment Certification Board, Chair
  • Cahir Minnesota State Bar Association, Labor & Employment Certification Committee and Board
  • Labor & Employment Law Section, Governing Council, 1999-2006, Chair, 2005-2006


  • J.D., William Mitchell College of Law, magna cum laude, 1989
  • B.A., St. John’s College, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1985


  • William Mitchell College of Law, Adjunct Professor, Employment Law Survey, 2012-2013
  • Legal Writing, William Mitchell College of Law, 1991-1994, Compass Program, 2008
  • Employers Education Service, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, 1991-2006


Click the icon to share this on social media